Li & Fung, a Hong Kong-based clothing supply giant, is going through a massive downsizing in Bangladesh and has allegedly fired more than 100 of its employees unlawfully.
According to international media reports, the company is set to slash 70 percent of its workforce.
In Bangladesh, Li & Fung has already terminated 25 percent of its staff members while mid-level workers face a 15 percent salary cut amid the pandemic.
According to company sources, the layoff began before Eid and the company will have cut off 50 percent of its manpower in Bangladesh by July.
When contacted, Li & Fung Bangladesh's human resource chief Zaid Hossain did not respond to a request for comment over the matter, instead suggesting reaching out to the company's media department.
On condition of anonymity, an official who was terminated, said, "People are being suspended without any prior notice. The company is not even paying its dues.
"On the other hand, the company is not following the Labour Law which stipulates four months' payment and other benefits for termination," added the official.
Multinational supply chain management giant Li & Fung supplies retailers including Walmart with clothing mostly purchased from Asia. The company has been operating in 45 countries for 115 years.
The Bangladesh office of the supply giant has 462 employees including Bangladeshi, Indian and Sri Lankan citizens.
The official who got terminated further said that it was mandatory for them to inform the company two months before quitting. Otherwise, the payments would be cut off.
According to recent international media reports, Li & Fung got rid of 70 percent of the employees in its Hong Kong Procurement Department.
Sourcing Journal also confirmed the downsizing of its procurement department.
"Since last week, the once-leading sourcing giant has been distributing dismissal notices that could affect hundreds of employees, according to a report in AA Stocks. Layoffs are also rumored to be underway in its Shanghai and Shenzhen," reports Sourcing Journal.
South China Morning Post reported, "Li & Fung has confirmed it will lay off 40 employees in its Hong Kong headquarters even though its chief executive said a few weeks ago that it would not sack anyone in the near future."
The report reads, "The trading company, which sources garments, shoes, make-up items and electrical appliances from low-cost regions in Asia and supplies them to Wal-Mart stores in the United States and other retailers in Europe, said the staff members were made redundant as a result of the 'changing needs of its European business'."
Li & Fung's shares dropped by 54 Hong Kong cents, or 3.78 percent, to HK$13.72 on Sunday.